Not Sure What to Post? Here Are Our Top Strategies for Creating Content for Social Media For Your Business
Coming up with fresh, relevant and engaging content for social media for your business can be challenging. In addition to this, standing out from the competition gets harder by the day with 65% of businesses nationwide having a social media profile - and this doesn't take into account the competition you face with the content created by your potential audience's friends and family.
Social media is a great tool for building brand awareness, creating leads and conversions, but what kind of content should you be creating? And how do you generate new ideas to upload on a consistent basis that will cut through the noise? Don't panic, you've come to the right place - here are our top strategies that we use to stay on top of creating content for social media for our business.
Set Attainable Goals
Content for the sake of content is not something to be striving for; in fact, it's actually counterproductive and can weaken your brand identity. Your social media content should align with your brand values so that when customers see your online presence, their connection they build with you is authentic. Once you've got them hooked, providing valuable, tangible content with information they can take away will keep them coming back for more.
So, with all this in mind, where do you start? Having clear goals will make sure that your content serves a purpose and inspires new ideas. Your goals might be to:
- Grow your social media profile
- Increase brand awareness
- Launch a new product
- Increase sales
- Drive traffic to website
- Generate qualified leads
- Increase customer loyalty
- Improve ROI
You can tackle more than one goal at a time and segment posts accordingly, or break a goal down into smaller, realistic and time-based objectives. For example, an FAQ video where you answer the most submitted questions is a fantastic way to drive brand awareness. But if generating traffic to your site is more of a priority, consider uploading your FAQ answers as Instagram Stories and encouraging people to swipe up to find out more! Think about what you can realistically manage a as team in terms of quantity and frequency so that you're consistent. You're better off nailing a few channels, then spreading yourself thin. Once you've decided on a plan, it's good to get into a habit of evaluating your progress.
Look at What's Worked Before
It's important to audit what has worked well in the past and what hasn't, and use that to improve your strategy going forward. You might find that you want to update or replicate some of the posts that performed well and avoid the pitfalls that you can identify in posts that fared below average in terms of interaction. Here are the most common reasons why posts fail:
- Inauthentic brand voice
- The topic is irrelevant to your brand/business
- Too similar to other content
Don't forget to frame your analysis in terms of the new goals that you've set for your social media strategy going forward. This step may also help you identify obvious gaps in your content, for example, do you have at least one post about every kind of product you offer?
There is no shortage of ideas on the internet, and while it's important not to imitate too closely, it's quite beneficial to research your competitors and see what is working well for them. Do a little research to spark some fresh content ideas, have another look at your own feed and see what type of content you enjoy following. Just like content for SEO, good social media content should always be written with purpose and should look to do at least one of the three things below:
- Inspire. Uplifting content stands out from the rest and often has better shareability, increasing your reach and positive brand association at the same time.
- Inform. Customers want to see posts that are informative of new offers, how your product works and why they need it in their life. Is there any news related to your industry? Do you have any wins to share or losses you can reflect on?
- Entertain. Content that entertains has a few purposes, it humanises your brand, improves brand recall and is another type of content that viewers find easy to share.
Before you start creating content for social media, you can also research what's hot right now to see if there's any time-sensitive trends you can take advantage of. Here are some platforms to help you get some strategic ideas:
- Google keyword planner
- Reddit trending posts
- Twitter trending tab
- Tik Tok trends page
- Instagram explore feed
These will give you a good idea of what your customer base is looking at, and adding a point of difference on current trends within your industry is more likely to go viral. Remember that you don't need to catch the wave on every trend, it just increases the likelihood of your profile being discovered. For a set and forget approach, follow sites like our blog that summarise the latest social media trends so that you can hit the ground running.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Content
The key to getting the most out of your content? Reduce, reuse and recycle! This means capitalising on user-generated content, but also reusing your own creative materialÂ with new angles and fresh approaches.
- Reduce. If you're always running out of ideas, you might be posting too frequently and burying your own content. This is why it's good to have a social media content calendar so that you aren't pressing publish every time an idea comes to mind. Save drafts, stick to a schedule and algorithms will reward your consistency.
- Reuse. Reusing content saves time and contrary to what you might think, it isn't lazy. In fact, if you're proud of creative material you've created there's no reason not to use it across all the platforms, chopped up and repurposed. There's a good chance your audience didn't click on it the first time, or even the second - given a new spin, the content is just as appealing each time it's shared. Trends come and go, and there may be another even more relevant time to share content you've shared previously. The best bit? It's ready to go. Think of how you might be able to pull out a different quote or use a different image and link back to a blog post, or use a different video snippet.
- Recycle. If you have a customer-base that is creating content about your brand - either in the form of reviews or social content - you should take every opportunity to leverage that content. This helps to increase brand awareness, and in addition provides social proof to those on the fence about your brand or product. A BrightLocal study showed that positive reviews improves trust with 73% of visitors.
Check in with Your Audience
Checking in with your audience is one of the best ways to know you're delivering content they want to see and for building customer loyalty. Unlike mass media of the past, social media is a two-way channel, so make sure you're engaging and getting the most out of the audience insights you have right at your literal fingertips. Instagram is one of the best platforms for almost instantaneous audience feedback due to its poll feature that allows you to gauge interest on your ideas. It requires very little effort from your followers to respond, and provides you feedback within 24 hours. Just make sure to check back to see the results! Try these options on Instagram:
- Create a poll with custom yes/no buttons
- Give multiple choice options with the Quiz sticker
- Use an emoji slider to rate individual ideas
- Get questions or ideas from the New Question sticker
Stories only last for 24 hours, so for those who may miss your poll or quiz, you can also get direct input by asking your audience to comment their thoughts under in-feed videos or posts.
Consistency is key too, so when engaging with your audience, try to ensure you're doing it regularly. Staying in touch with followers, allowing their input and monitoring their feedback is a sure path to social media success.
Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Now that you've got an amalgamation of ideas floating around in your head, it's time to develop them into a social media calendar. There are many tools out there for this. Ones we recommend include Sprout Social, Agorapulse & Buffer (just to name a few). These allow you to schedule your posts visually across different platforms, and lots of other helpful stuff depending on the level of access you purchase, and the tool you choose. Alternatively, you can schedule posts in Facebook with Creator Studio, a tool that allows you to manage messages, posts and see insights across Instagram and Facebook all from the one platform.
Here at Lance Montana, we like to utilise a cloud-based office platform Google Sheets to plan out our social media content on a monthly basis, as it's collaborative (multiple users can edit at once), easy-to-use, and edits are tracked. But there are loads of planning tools you can use (including some planners within the social tools mentioned above) that allow you to add images and categorise our posts based on the content type, and manage edits and approvals from the rest of your team or clients - it all depends on your requirements and budget!
Looking For Tailored Advice When Creating Content for Social Media?
At Lance Montana, we specialise in social media content creation and all things digital marketing. We can offer personalised digital strategy and planning to achieve your goals with relevant and engaging content. Get in touch with us for copywriting, SEO, brand strategy, social media management and more.